Monday, October 31, 2011

Kill the C-10 Bill.

This is one of the worst ideas that the Canadian Government has come up with. Even Texas who is strict, think this is a stupid bill. They've tried it and it doesn't work. Education and prevention is far more effective and costs far less then incarceration.

Overall the crime rate in Canada has gone down. Why create a bill that aims to punish non-violent crime and fill our jails?  Do we really want to spend all our taxes supporting prisoners, which get worse by being in jail or would we rather spend the money on health and education like a normal first world country????

Here is a link to a Facebook event for this Friday EVERYWHERE in Canada! Just go to your justice hall and Protest!!!!

Happy Samhain - Happy Halloween

This is my favourite day of the year. Halloween. As a pagan is it the day where the veils between this world and the next are the thinnest. This is a good day to say Goodbye to all those we have lost during the year, and remember those we lost in previous years.

Tonight I will be burning candles for all the Syrian Martyrs. May they rest in Peace.

Happy Halloween to all, no matter how you see this day!  Happy candy collecting to the little ones :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photo's from Occupy Montreal: Day 14 - October 29th, 2011

Hubby video taping Occupy Montreal March October 29, 2011
I took a lot of photos. over 700. Some at the Syrian march some at the Occupy Montreal. 

Here are my Occupy Montreal photo's from Saturday.

Here are hubby's Occupy Montreal photo's from Saturday.

Photo's from March for Human rights in Syria October 29th.

Filming the Syrian March on St Catherine St Montreal October 29th.
Both hubby and I took photo's at the March yesterday, though he also did a lot of filming. He was allowed to take out the camera for his own use.

The link to his photo's.

The link to my photo's

short video of Occupy Montreal March

Video of the March for human rights in Syia in Montreal October 29, 2011

Naive art

An original painting by Souad Saidi.
A friend of mine is a wonderful artist. I really love her work.  The vibrant colours she chooses and her so many ways of expressing the sun resonates with me.  Check out her fan page on Facebook. 

By Souad Saidi.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

We like the Montreal Police - they are nicer then the police in Oakland, San Diego ...

So far the Montreal police has been incredibly accommodating with the Occupy Montreal movement. I was impressed at how they bent over backwards to ensure the security of everyone today at the March. Although it was known the group was going to March around 3pm, there was no defined route that was provided to the police. They did make suggestions for us to avoid Sherbrooke, but they really did let the organizers go where they wanted to go downtown. 

In general though the police in Montreal have not been difficult with the Occupy Montreal group. If anything they claim to have bigger problems with the firemen.  They seem to inspect the camp daily and have concerns about fire hazards and safety.  Most people feel the reason the city of Montreal and it's officials have been easy is they figure that the Occupiers will leave once the weather gets colder. They are in for a surprise!

In front of US Consulate in Montreal 29-10-11
One of the places  where the protest march stopped was in front of the American Consulate in Montreal.  This was done in support of the many Occupy movements in the US that have been brutally removed by police with anti-riot squad, despite the fact there were NO RIOTS.  Colour me impressed, Montreal - known for it's hockey riots, have not had anything remotely violent through it's occupy movement.

There's the Marine in Oakland with the cracked skull, worth mentioning. This brave young man did TWO tours of duty in IRAQ and came home safely, only to get brutalized by the Oakland Police. SHAME SHAME SHAME on Oakland.  San Diego has also been pretty nasty with their Occupy group. Last night all you could see was police with anti-riot gear on their live stream.

One of the more interesting articles I read in the past couple of days was about the March in Cairo from Tahrir Square to the American embassy by Egyptians in support of the Occupy Oakland protesters. Though they have comparable if not worse police brutality problems in Egypt, it did not prevent a segment of the Egyptian population to March for those wronged in the US.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday October 29th, 2011 - Montreal Marches.

The first march I know about that day is the march for human rights in Syria at noon at Norman Bethune Square, corner Guy and de Maisonneuve. 

The 2nd march is for Quebec independence and it starts at 1:30pm from la Place du Canada

The 3rd March is from Occupy Montreal/Occupons Montreal and starts at 3pm from Square Victoria.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yemeni women burn their veils in protest

I can't help but feeling inspired and solidarity with the Yemeni women. They are incredibly inspiring. Especially when you realize they are poor and uneducated in a country that's still fairly oppressive towards women. Starting with Tawakkol Karmen, who has been travelling. I believe she's still in the US at the moment.  Not only did she win a Nobel prize but she's an inspiration for women around the world.

The article that brought a smile on my face. Women decided to burn their veils in protest. It reminds me of the bra burning done in the 60's by women in the US.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Live stream from Damascus Syria for protest today

Today in Syria at least 45 cities and towns are participating in a civil strike. There is almost nothing open and people are out to protest.  This live stream is from Damascus, Syria. The people are enthusiastic. It still amazes me the resilience of the Syria people. God bless them all. Allahu Akbar!

PS: the stream did not last long, but it was awesome to watch while it lasted :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Occupy Movement has really spread all over North America.

Here is a map of the spread of the Occupy Movement. From a summary look it doesn't appear all the Canadian locations are listed but if you zoom in it's actually pretty good. :)

October 29th - March for Syria's Freedom Montreal

Monday, October 24, 2011

Even in Montreal Pro-Bashar folks threaten activists!

Notice how the activists who show up with pictures of the Martyrs get treated. You would not think we're in Canada. Shame on those people.  Hopefully footage like this will encourage people to come in great numbers this Saturday at Norman Bethune square at 1pm for a March to denounce human rights violations in Syria.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Live stream from Occupy Montreal

En Direct de Square Victoria  ecouter Occupons Montreal!

Live stream from Occupy Montreal !

Watch live streaming video from occupymontreal at

Do you want to support OCCUPY MONTREAL?

Est-ce que vous faites parti du 99%  et vous êtes a Montréal?

Occupy Montreal is asking people who support the movement to donate their Canadian Tire money. You can either stop at the donation tent at Square Victoria - corner St-Jacques & McGill near the People's Kitchen or you can send it by mail to :

1221 rue Fleury St E
CP 35005

Occupons Montréal demandes a ceux qui supporte le mouvement des dons d'argent Canadian Tire. Vous pouvez l'envoyer par la poste a l'adresse ci haut ou bien l'apporter en personne a la tente pour les dons, situe au Square Victoria sur le coin St-Jacques et McGill a cote de La Cuisine du Peuple.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Syria - Friday 21/10/2011

I've just come back from Friday's weekly vigil in Montreal in solidarity with the Syrian people.  This Friday there were lots of protests in Syria. This Google Map shows where the protests were held today and where the security was heavy handed. Also you can check out video's from various locations.

The Dynamics of the Uprising in Syria

If you don't know much what's going on in Syria, or haven't read much on it, this article explains things really well.
The Dynamics of the Uprising in Syria.

It's Friday and it means the streets of Syria are full of Syrians asking for the downfall of the regime and for Bashar to leave. Love some of the video's on YouTube where the folks do wonderful chants. One from Homs earlier this week brought tears to my eyes, they were cursing Bashar and remembering all the fallen martyrs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Libya finally rid of Gadaffi!

I didn't quite believe it this morning, but now I am starting to believe it. Gadaffi is dead and he was found alive hidden in a drainage pipe.  The rebels have spray painted on the pipe "Here was found the rat Gadaffi" a reference of how he called the Libyan people rats.

Apparently this is where dictators go in their last hours. Under ground. It seems that Sadam Hussain was also found hidden in an hole under a two room mud hut.  Who's next Assad or Saleh? Syria or Yemen?

Yemen - When will Saleh go?

It's been a comedy with the leader of Yemen, who's been promising for months to sign the deal brokered by the GCC to have him leave, following the will of the people. After the blast in Sana'a that injured all his security as well as himself, he went to Saudi Arabia for treatment. The Saudi's even if they aren't ready for changes in their own country realize that they have to keep Yemen from descending into civil war, because otherwise they lose ability to ship their oil out of their country. 

I read recently to my amusement that the Saudi's though Saleh was flying to Ethiopia [I think] where he has property, but he ended back in Sana'a to the surprise of everyone.  If the Saudi's had known they would not have given him permission to leave. Or so I read, like I said earlier with amusement. Now Saleh is back in Yemen and the protests have turned more violent as his supporters try desperately to hold on to him.

Tawakul Karman was in New York, continuing to be a champion for the rights of the Yemeni people. Women in Sana'a have continued to march despite the indignation of Saleh supporters who feel men and women should not be seen together in public.    Here's hoping that gender segregation in some parts of the world slowly disappears. It's not healthy for societies to keep their genders apart. 

 Today Saleh is seeking guarantees for his departure.  He's seeing the writing on the wall but is slow to move on it. The sooner the better as things are deteriorating and we do not need another Syria.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo's from Occupy Montreal: Day 5

I took some photos today but was using my 10 year old 3.3 megapixel camera Sony that is very slow to respond especially after being used to my SLR. I also forgot that when using the liveview instead of the display, that it won't show certain types of zoom. Hence all the half cut signs I took today.

Canadian media obviously in 1% pocket

All the Canadian media has been able to report about the Occupy movement is that Canadians don't have as much to complain about as our neighbours to the south.  Every time I read the news about the movement in the Canadian media they are downplaying the movement. 

Thankfully the Mayor of Montreal said that so long as the Occupy movement stayed peaceful and did not vandalize both public and private property, they can camp there as long as they like. 

Still when will the media realize that his movement is NOT going away.  Yes we're not as bad as in the US, but does it mean we should just sit on our laurels. Should we wait till it gets as bad? Besides there are many Canadians in deep debt. How many have to be broke before we are allowed to protest for our rights???

Besides when you have Texas laughing at Harper's proposed crime laws, you know he's going down the wrong path.

I support OCCUPY CANADA because I want my children and grandchildren to have a life at least as good as what I've had, with the same rights, and standards of living.

I'm going to be downtown not that far from Square Victoria.

I have interviews today at a university downtown that's not so far from Square Victoria. I have interviews at 11, 11:30 and then at 12:30 or possibly 13:00. Either way I have at least 30 minutes free tomorrow to be able to go and check out Occupy Montreal and take photo's of what it looks like on a week-day.

I've decided to go interview by taking the train, so I do not have to deal with where to park and the traffic going downtown.

Yesterday the visit to the dentist went well with my gf She's still afraid but is starting to develop a rapport with the dentist so I think she'll do OK. I think she'll be able to go alone next appointment, but I told her I'm willing to go one last time for support.  He's been so goofy with her. He called her when we got back to work and started off "I need a good dentist but I'm afraid, who do you recommend"  He wanted to make sure she was OK, that the freezing he used to fix her cavity didn't affect her heart, and that her mouth felt fine.  He's such a sweetheart. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Secret filming of life in the besieged city of Homs, Syria.

You know it baffles me that British media has managed to sneak reporters inside Syria to get a look at what's going on, and see for themselves how bad things are. Somehow neither the Arab League or the UN manage to have people inside Syria in the same way to properly assess instead of listening to the constant lies of the Syrian Regime. 

Each time a meeting discusses Syria and they talk about opening a dialog between the people and the regime, more peaceful protesters get killed.  Assad's thugs are still killing people from all walks of life, as well as torturing them, taking all the things they hold dear, destroying their lives. For what for some ruling family to hold on to power? Shouldn't the country belong to the people and not just one giant dick?  I'm getting rabid again, time to stop for tonight and let you watch the clip below.

Here's a BBC report - Secret filming of life in the besieged  Syrian city of Homs.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice....

« Si vous demeurez neutre dans des situations d’injustice, vous aurez choisi la partie de l’oppresseur. Si un éléphant pose le pied sur la queue d’une souris et que vous vous dites neutre, la souris n’appréciera pas votre neutralité. » 

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. "

  -= Desmond Tutu =-

Did the number of hyperactive people change?

New guidelines recently suggest that children as young as 4 should be treated for ADHD.  I don't disagree that the younger you catch a problem, the better you can address it, but I'm completely against medicating children that young. I'm against medicating anyone unless there is no other solution.

What got me thinking though is all these kids being diagnosed as hyperactive, do they ever get to go outside and run?  My mom, despite being a first grade teacher, never saw me as hyperactive. She used to say I needed to move.  But she'd suggest I go outside and run when I would get too hyper or antsy inside the house. I had a bicycle from age 6 onward and I'd spend a lot of time on it riding around.  Before the bike I had a tricycle. I also had roller skates, the type made out of metal that would go over your shoes and grow with you. In winter I went ice skating a lot, most parks in Quebec have a skating rink in winter, where the baseball or soccer field would be in summer.

Heck, when my mom couldn't send her first grade class to recess outside because of inclement weather, she'd find a way to play a game in the classroom that would get the kids moving. She always felt children shouldn't be expected to sit still 24/7. That children should move around and play outside.

I wonder what percentage of kids who the schools feel they need to medicate for "discipline" issues, would not require it if outside of school they had opportunity to go to the park  and play, or run outside, ride a bike, play a sport, roller skate etc... I bet you most of these kids are always stuck sitting somewhere, whether it's sitting in a car being driven to school - because parents think it's too dangerous for kids to walk or too far, sitting at home watching TV, or playing on computer or playing a game on some form of gaming device. Most probably never get to just to play outside  and move!

Just something to think about.....

Pushap's Restaurant in Pierrefonds

Since I've been doing reviews of new [mostly Lebanese] restaurants that I try, I figure I might review a favourite for a change.

Pushap's vegetarian Indian restaurant. The first time I went there they were still on Gouin. I can't exactly remember the year but it was between 92-94. Back then the restaurant was mostly buffet style.

Since they have moved on to Sources blvd, next door to several other Indian restaurants, they have a meal of the day, they call Thali, which is quite reasonably priced for the amount of food you're getting.  If you mention you don't want dairy, you will get vegan only food. Their curries are quite yummy.

I'm also a real sucker for their vegetable pakora's. While I find they could be crispier,  I love the mix of spices they use.Anyone who reads this blog knows I don't eat anything sweet, so I cannot tell you about  what the really yummy looking sweets at their counter taste like. But I can tell you this, that whenever I am eating dinner at Pushap's at least several times while we are eating people will come into the restaurant for the sole purpose of bringing sweets home for dinner. They seem quite popular, and not just with the Indian community.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo's from October 15th, 2011 - Includes Occupy Montreal as well as protests for Middle East...

I commented on Saturday that there was a lot going on  in terms of protests and Marches. The ones we got to see was the Syrian March for  freedom, The Egyptians Copts protesting for their rights, People from the Feb 20th movement in Morocco and of course Occupy Montreal.  Hubby took pictures of all of it and it's here on Picassa.

Occupy Montreal needs YOU! Occupons Montreal a besoin de vous!!!

For Occupy Montreal - Want to help out but don't want to be at Square Victoria? Do you have items on this list you can part with and donate to the cause?

Pour Occupons Montreal - Vous voulez participer mais pas au Square Victoria? Vous avez des items sur la liste que vous etre pres a donner?
Le lien pour la liste est ici/Here is the link for the list.

EVERY Little bit helps. Tous l'aide compte!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Can the Canadian Media be trusted to report honestly?

One of my favourite placards at Square Victoria was this one:

It says "You don't know why we're here?  Quebecor and PowerCorp don't know either. Read real newspapers!" 

I've linked my photos in many places, I figure I had fun taking them why not share them. Well as it goes, someone commented the media said there was only 500 in attendance in Montreal.  My photo's show crowds in the 1000-2000 range.  As well, this was the people that was there when I attended. Different people came at different times of the day to support the movement. I'd bet closer to 4000 people came on the first day. Some just to see, some only had a few hours to spare but strongly feel part of this 99%.  

It seems that the media is under reporting the grass roots support to the Occupy movement. Many feel that in Canada we've got it good and that the movement will peter out. I don't think so. I'm going to be downtown this week for work fairly close to Square Victoria and I plan on going there to take photos during my lunch hour and give whomever is there support.   I'm not the only one who will support the protesters. I need to work but it doesn't prevent me from being part of it and passing along info.

More ugly scandals in the closet of the Catholic church

A BBC documentary claims that the Catholic Church in Spain removed in the neighbourhood of 300, 000 babies from their parents. You know the type. The girl is young and unwed and considered to be an unfit parent. She's told her child died and it is then sold to infertile couples, who don't know the baby they get has been kidnapped.

Photo's from Occupy Montreal: Day 1

If you want to see my photo's from occupy Montreal, just click here.

Protest October 15th, 2011 in Montreal for a FREE SYRIA!

Restaurant Le Petit Alep

I'd been to this restaurant before about 10 years ago. I hadn't gone with hubby yet because after his disappointment with many Lebanese places around Montreal, I figured this might not appeal to him either. Besides it had been years and sometimes things change.

Le Petit Alep is a Syrian restaurant on Jean-Talon, near St Laurent in the Villeray area of Montreal. I had gone just once, and I remember that the hummus there was the best I ever had. I don't think I've had better hummus in Lebanon, Syria or Jordan for that matter.  But not being from a culture where hummus is a staple, I figured it was just an opinion.

Recently a Facebook friend mentioned it was among his favorite places to eat "Lebanese/Syrian" in Montreal so I decided to take hubby there. Well I drove him there, he treated me to dinner.  The only mistake we made is arriving at 7pm. There was at least 10 people waiting in line and people were not leaving in droves.  After waiting for maybe 10 minutes a waitress asks us if it's OK to sit us at the bar. I was tired and starving and figured why not. We weren't particularly comfortable, but the food was as good as I remembered Hubby said the hummus was quite good. I have become a hummus connoisseur.

Hubby has decided that this is his favorite restaurant to eat food from back home. He likes the food, the atmosphere. The service was quite good given the crowd. I was surprised at how quickly the food arrived, no screw ups either. We got exactly what we asked for, and quickly. The staff was quite friendly. Hubby adds that the bill was quite reasonable for all the food we had.

We both left completely stuffed.  I had their mezza plate - which is all veggie other then the cheese. Everything was fresh and delicious. We had the shanglish. It was really good. Different then the other really good shanglish I had in Lebanon, but still definitely worth eating.  The waiter told us in passing that another of their dishes is well loved so much so that people come from New York city to bring some back home.  Hubby had the lamb dish and the way he vacuumed it, I concluded it was quite eatable too.

What I didn't like about the evening - the waiting in line in the doorway and how crowded it was. This is easily avoided, as normally hubby wants to have dinner at 4pm, I'm sure it's far more quiet between 4-5pms on Saturdays instead of 7pm. It seems the place is now quite trendy! The other thing I didn't like is how hard it is to park in that area.  That's a given though. I used to go shopping on St Hubert street and park in that area.  It was always painful to find non-resident parking. Admittedly if you live near a metro, it's walking distance from Jean-Talon Metro station.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Square Victoria was the end point for several Marches today

I attended the March for human rights for Syria today - starting point at Norman Bethune square at 1pm. I'd say there was about 100 people. It was supposed to end at  Phillips Square but by the time we got near it, the organizers realized there was already a large group of Egyptian Copts protesting. I think some thought of joining them and while they discussed it, the Copts had marched off down St Catherine.  

Our group stopped in the steps of the Christ Church Cathedral. We chanted there for a while then the group marched to Square Victoria to join up with Occupy Montreal between 3 and 4 pm.  I hung out with them for a while then wandered off taking pictures by myself for a while since I had lost hubby in the process. I wasn't worried. I figure we'd eventually find each other again. We ran into my friend John. I'm surprised I didn't run into anyone else I knew. That was really odd. 

The Syrian group had dispersed by 4:30 - as a group. Of course it's entirely possible many where still at Square Victoria. We're pretty sure that some of the Egyptian Copts ended at Square Victoria. Also around 4:30 a group of Moroccans who had been marching for democracy for Morocco arrived at Occupy Montreal.  I wonder how many other groups were marching today who's march ended at Square Victoria. 

Some people where there for the day, some people were there with a message, some people were just there to see, some people were there to support people there with a message, and some people are there for the long haul as a tent village has sprung up on the more Park side of the Square.  It must have been surreal for people who got off at the metro Square Victoria and to emerge in a sea of people when they go up the stairs into the Square.

I was happy to see there was no violence, but it was the first few hours. Things become different at night. Here's praying there is no violence. There was police around, but they all seemed pretty mellow and no one was taunting them.

Syria - Unreported World

Documentary from Channel 4 in the UK to look inside Syria's revolution. Well worth the watch.

I'm watching it before I go downtown today to join a March in support for the Syrian Protesters.

Sharing a box again....

Just in time for Caturday, I found Ziva and Jethro sharing the same box but in yet a different configuration :) 

I found this very cute too :) Spock is a WEIRD cat. 

You know you're a Montrealer when...

(please note, many of these apply specifically to anglo Montrealers (see point 4))
you pronounce it "Muntreal."
you have ever said anything like "I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep."
your only concern about jaywalking is getting a ticket.
you understand and frequently use terms like 'unilingual,' 'anglophone,' 'francophone,' and 'allophone.'
you agree that Montreal drivers are crazy, but you're secretly proud of their nerves of steel.
the most exciting thing about the South Shore or in Laval is that you can turn right on a red.

you know that the West Island is not a separate geographical formation.
in moments of paranoia, you think that there's no red line on the Metro because red is a federalist colour.
you have to bring smoked meat from Schwartz's and bagels from St-Viateur if you're visiting anyone west of Cornwall.
you refer to Tremblant as "up North."
you know how to pronounce Pie IX.
you have an ancient auntie who still says "Saint Dennis."
you believe to the depth of your very being that Toronto has no soul - but your high school reunion is held in Toronto because most of your classmates live there now.
you greet everyone, from lifelong bosom friends to some one you met once a few years ago, with a two-cheek kiss.
you know at least one person who works for the CBC, and at least one other person who used to work for Nortel.

you know what a four-and-a-half is.
you're not impressed with hardwood floors.
you've been hearing Celine Dion jokes longer than anyone else.
you can watch soft-core porn on broadcast TV, and this has been true for at least 25 years.
you cringe when Bob Cole pronounces French hockey player names.
you get Bowser & Blue.
you were drinking cafe-au-lait before it was latte.
Shopper's Drug Mart is Pharmaprix and Staples is Bureau en Gros, and PFK is finger lickin' good.
you really believe Just For Laughs is an international festival.
for two weeks a year, you are a jazz afficianado.
you need to be reminded by prominent signage that you should wait for the green light.
everyone on the street - drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists - think they're immortal, and that you'll move first.
you're proud that Montreal is the home of Pierre Trudeau, Mordechai Richler, William Shatner, Leonard Cohen and the Great Antonio...
and, you consider Donald Sutherland (and by default, Keifer), Guy Lafleur, Charlie Biddle, and Roch Carrier Montrealers, too.
you know that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics.
you know the apocryphal story of the fat lady at Eaton's.
you miss apostrophes.
you've seen Brother Andre's heart.
no matter how bilingual you are, you still don't understand "ile aux tourtes."
you know the difference between the SQ, the SAQ, and the SAAQ.
you measure temperature and distance in metric, but weight and height in Imperial measure.
you show up at a party at 11 p.m. and no one else is there yet.
April Wine once played your high school (alternatively, Sass Jordon or Gowan).
you know that Montreal is responsible for introducing the following to North America: bagels, souvlaki, smoked meat and Supertramp. Also, Chris de Burgh.
you don't drink pop or soda, you drink soft drinks.
you have graduated from high school and have a degree, but you've never been in grade 12.
the margarine in your fridge is the same colour as lard.
every once in a while, you wonder whatever happened to Luba.
you never thought that Corey Hart was cool, but you know someone whose cousin or something dated him.
there has to be at least 30 cm of snow on the ground in less than 24 hours for you to consider it too snowy to drive.
you remember where you were during the Ice Storm.
you used to be an Expos fan, but now all you really miss is Youppi.
you know that your city's reputation for beautiful women is based on centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned whores (aka Les Filles du Roi).
you don't understand anyone from Lac-St-Jean, but you can fake the accent.

Inspired by similar lists on blogthing. Keep the list going and add your ideas in the comments!

Stolen from a blog.

I had to share, I've been giggling over "you know the difference between the SQ, the SAQ and the SAAQ :)   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weird bug with Nexus S and Grand Vitara bluetooth

I knew when I got a smart phone that I'd be finding phone bugs. I didn't expect to be this weird.

I have bluetooth enabled on my Grand Vitara 2010. I've married it with the Nexus S bluetooth.  Normally I get into the truck with music playing, when the Truck detects the phone or phone detects the truck, it mutes partially the sound, for like 20-30 seconds if that long. Then the sound comes back normal - unless of course the phone rings.

Here's the bug: If the phone has notifications pending [For instance I got an update to my facebook app], then the sound stays muted UNTIL the notifications on the phone are cleared.

That's a stupid bug for a HANDS FREE DEVICE!!! The whole point of piping the sound to the truck is to NOT TOUCH THE DAMN PHONE.

I haven't complained to Samsung or to Suzuki as I have no fucking clue who is responsible for this annoyance and I haven't researched it yet. There might be a phone update that will fix this... or not!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy Canada - it's spreading

I've been working my ass off for 19 years and my buying power today - is much less then what it was 12 years ago. I have not even had yearly adjustments for the cost of living in that long, never mind a decent raise. This despite the fact that I'm a tireless worker and I still work as hard today as I did in the past, despite the lack of financial incentive. I stand by my work.

It sucks that the prices of everything has gone up substantially.  The price of gas has been brought up artificially. How come is it that companies are making RECORD profits and we barely can make ends meet?  How come is it that the top 1% are so incredibly rich and they can't seem to be able to give anyone a break.

That's why I'm behind the movement "Occupy wall street" "bay street" and in my case in Montreal Square Victoria. I think Canadians have legitimate concerns despite what Mr Flaherty our finance minister says.  I can't say I'll be missing work for this, however if people camp out there for weeks or months, they will need supplies. There are dozens of ways to help behind the scenes and be supportive. I believe in the movement and I believe there's time for change.

Personally I'd like it if those who make more get taxed more. They are the ones who can afford the best accountants and find all the loopholes. They get taxed far less then the rest of us.  I'd also like companies to get taxed.  The health system needs re-vamping so that wait times are more reasonable and so that people can easily find a family doctor.

The other question that begs if the price of the barrel of oil is $84 how come, we're still paying in the $1.30 range at the pump in Montreal?   Why are oil companies allowed to make such enormous profits? Lower the damn prices - it's been sending the prices of everything sky rocketing.

Syrian Media lie!

The syrian regime's new Lie is to claim that the "occupy wallstreet" marches are the equivalent to what goes on in Syria. What a bunch of garbage!  No one in the US has been shot protesting wallstreet! No family is now worried that someone close is going to show up dead either. 

The Facebook page of the US embassy in Syria has put the following points up: 
A Note from Facebook moderator Leslie Ordeman

We recently put up an article about the Occupy Wall Street protests in the USA -- there is lots of news about it on Syrian television stations.

For sure there is a lot of unhappiness in America about the economic situation. Unemployment is relatively high - nine percent. Housing prices keep falling, hurting more families. There is much debate between the two main American political parties about how to fix the U.S. economy.

We don't know exactly what will happen next. What we do know is:

* the US will have national elections in November 2012 that are not under the control of the American intelligence establishment but rather an independent election authority not controlled by the President or Congress;

* the Occupy Wall Street organizers will be entirely free to run as election candidates or to organize to support candidates;

* Occupy Wall Street groups will not be allowed to destroy public or private property, but they can organize more protests in other cities and they can say whatever they want about the U.S. government without being arrested or shot;

* the police will not shoot thousands of protesters;

* some Occupy Wall Street organizers have been arrested for disturbing public order (blocking traffic) but they won't be tortured, and no family will receive the body of a protester bearing torture marks.

* the international media and NGOs are watching and reporting on the Occupy Wall Street protests without interference from the government;

* the Occupy Wall Street organizers will be free to talk to any American or foreigner who wants to talk to them without fear of arrest;

* the U.S. government may complain that some countries' currency policies are hurting the U.S. economy, but the US government will not tell the world that there is a vague foreign conspiracy for which it lacks any specifics or evidence but that it says is encouraging the Occupy Wall Street or other protest movements.

Something to think about…

Interviewing time again

Thankfully no interviews this week, but next week I have to go to a university downtown to do some interviews. The day before I'm also going downtown to accompany my girlfriend to her first dentist appointment where he works on her. 

I also will be having stage coordinators coming in to ask about our students next week. That's always fun because when they aren't that good students then I have to bitch about them. It's always harder to say bad things about people then good things. Thankfully the 3 students with us now are actually good workers. One is a bit full of himself, but the guy working with him can see past that and make good use of the resource. :)

Sadly in fall and winter months, the pickings for students are slim so we have to make due with the people we get. The student we like the least, at least does a good job. So the personality we can put up with - well most of us.

Not enough interviews, next week, I have a therapist appointment tonight :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NCIS - always a favorite TV show

It's funny, I didn't warm up to NCIS until the 3rd or even 4th season. It was a pure fluke too, it played for a while at a time where there was nothing good to watch elsewhere. I remember hating the first few episodes I watched,  all except for Abby. Finally I watched the show the from first episode and then just fell in love with the show.

More then that I really enjoy the character of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Amusingly enough, I'm a redhead with attitude - which seems to be his preferred type of woman - if he really did exist.  Then again in real life, I'd probably want to smack him upside the head, like he does to others  from time to time too. It's not so much the actor either. I'm not crazy about Mark Harmon. Never liked him in anything before.  I've seen some of St Elsewhere and Chicago hope, two series he played in for years and never cared for him or noticed him before as an actor.

I generally prefer darker men. I tend to prefer Mediterraneans - that is men with olive skin, dark wavy or curly hair and deep brown eyes.   I also find  Latino, middle-eastern and black men attractive. Here Mark Harmon has whitish hair and blue eyes - not my thing in the least - but he's attractive with it. Go figure ?

NCIS is in it's 9th season and I still really enjoy it.  Strangely enough I think it was watching NCIS that partly inspired my daughter to join the Canadian Navy, other then the fact she thought she'd look smashing in a Navy uniform :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Drawing down the moon!

Well not quite, but it's the thought that counts :)

Light the night walk - also on October 15th.

The March for leukemia "Light the Night walk" is also being held on Saturday night, October 15th, 2011. Just in case you didn't have enough to think about :)

October 15 - One Day - Many possibilities

There's a march being held in solidarity for the Syrian protesters on Saturday, starting at Norman Bethune Square. It's also to point out that no one is looking out for the human rights of the Syrian people.

As well Occupy Montreal makes it's start this Saturday at Victoria Square.

Bahrain - Shouting in the Dark.

I don't think I've blogged about Bahrain before.  However they face similar problems other Arab countries do. The fact the US has a military base there, keeps the dictators in place - especially held together by Saudi Arabia.  Here's a documentary about Bahrain called Shouting in the Dark.  It is well worth the watch. 

A country is not its rulers, but its people!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Same box, different day

The same two cats, Ziva and Jethro are seen here sharing the same box but in a different configuration then a couple of days ago.

People are being silenced in Lebanon too!

I wrote a while ago about a Pro-democracy protest in front of the Syrian Embassy in Beirut that turned violent. This time  some Syrian Kurds in Beirut protested with the support of the Lebanese police, so they didn't get attacked at the embassy. But later in that say members of Lebanese intelligence went to beat them up? What is the Lebanese intelligence suddenly working for Bashar Al Assad?  It blows my mind that one part of Lebanese society is pro-democracy for Syria but when people try to express it they get beaten up in some shape or form.

The second part of this story is that tensions in Lebanon have gotten so high, they are afraid of imploding into civil war so anything that can cause tension between people is silenced in hopes to avoid more fighting.  This means rights are being eroded. Movies supposed to show at a film festival being pulled because of fears.

It's no wonder my mom-in-law thinks some of what I post is propaganda. She couldn't dare to say anything otherwise, it's too dangerous. If anything saying I'm posting propaganda may keep her safe. Bless her soul, brave woman who's seen too much war and pain in her lifetime.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Camping Canadian Thanksgiving week-end.

Mont Adstock in background of a pink sky at sunset
On Wednesday I decided on an impulse to go back to Parc National Frontenac this week-end. It's the first time I go camping in October. I've been in late September before. However it coincided with Indian Summer. So it was actually warmer the one night we camped out, then it was when I camped in August. Admittedly the nights were cooler as a remnant of hurricane Irene the day before.

Thetford Mines - Close up of tailing pile near Mine.
We left at 10am on Saturday morning, and took the Mercier. That bridge gets scarier by the minute. The longer I'm on that bridge, the more I shake and sweat. I kid you not! We took the 132 until we met up with the 30 and then met up with the 20 going towards Quebec City.  At an exit we took the 165 going towards Thetford Mines.

We made a pit stop in Plessisville. We had lunch at the McDonalds and got some groceries at the IGA right behind it. Big IGA, I figured it would be easy to find food we wanted to eat. We kept going, driving through Thetford Mines and making it to the St Daniel entrance of the Parc National de Frontenac.

We took the exact same campsite I'd chosen with my daughter as the other spots I might have wanted to try out were already booked.  We dropped off some of our gear and then drove to the trail in the forest undergrowth near Riviere du Bleuet.  We walked the trail on both sides. We went through all the short off shooting trails that took us to either Lac St Francois or Riviere du Bleuet.

Lac St Francois near Riviere des Bleuets
Just before arriving on the edge of the lake, I caught the unmistakable smell of sweetgrass, but I was not able to locate it's source.  After our trek through the woods, we drove back to our campsite and set up camp, cooked dinner. We also spent time taking pictures of the sunset in steps as the colours went from all shades of oranges pinks and reds on Lac St Francois.We built a fire once it got dark, and then saw the beautiful almost full moon and spent about an hour just taking pictures in the dark.

G-Nome hanging out with Mushrooms in peat bog
Next morning we went walking through all the different paths of the peat bog. It just blows the mind to see all the vegetation that can grow in such humid conditions. The purple pitcher flower were no longer in season but I still saw leaves everywhere.  We left there around lunchtime as the bog path got crowded with other nature enthusiasts.

We had packed up the campsite and left by 2pm, and made it home around 6pm. We'd probably arrived almost an hour sooner if the Mercier hadn't been so congested. That bridge is SCARY.

Break the Silence for Yemen

Yemen has been put in the limelight in the past few days, here's a video from Yemeni Youth

Friday, October 07, 2011

Sharing a box....

Jethro and Ziva were spotted sharing a box last night.  Aren't they cute?

Yemen: A tale of 2 protests

From Al Jazeera's People & Power - Interviewed is Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman.

Syrian Revolution Rap

I'm posting this video to show my support for this Friday's marches  in Syria  dubbed "SNC supports me".  SNC = Syrian National Council.

Yemeni woman gets Nobel Peace Prize!

I blogged back in March about this Yemeni woman called Tawakkul Karman. I was so impressed that in a 'backwards' and poor country like Yemen that a woman was one of the people leading the countries pro-democracy movement.  I was reading this morning that she won a Nobel Peace prize. 

Here's hoping that the Yemeni can finally get rid of Saleh and that Yemen joins the rank of democratic countries. It's hard for me to follow what goes on, they aren't nearly as well organized as the Syrians. Understandable. Yemen is a much poorer country, I'm sure far less have internet and/or mobile phones.

Keep up the good work Tawakkul - here's hoping you get to live in a democratic Yemen!

She was one of three women given a Nobel Peace prize for their peaceful activism.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thank-you to the folks over at

In the past month I've had 21 hits so far coming from They explain here why all I get is their main link, so I have no clue what's being linked.

Either way thank you to the folks there who seem to like and link my blog :)

The flower of Syria.

The good news, it seems that Zainab Al Hosni is alive and well, and presumably in Syrian custody.  On National TV, they had her interviewed. She claimed she ran away because her brothers mistreated her.  I'm sure if she had run away she'd have phoned her mom to tell her she was safe.  But that isn't the point. 

The fact remains that there was a body in the Morgue in the hospital in Homs, that had been beheaded, mutilated, dismembered and scorched. This body is that of a young woman about Zainab's age.  The body shows clear signs of torture. Even in the best possible of cases, let's assume this girl died of natural causes - someone still spent a lot of time mutilating the body - and that's defies human decency. I know both Christians and Muslims certainly would frown upon mutilating a dead body. 

If the Syrian government is trying to make itself look good and the protesters look bad by going "Look you guys lied, Zainad is still alive". Well who killed this poor girl, probably Assad thugs. Who gave the body to the Al Hosni family, and made up false papers to say this was Zainab - the Syrian authorities. The body was in such poor state it was impossible to tell who she was!  

I'm happy to hear Zainab is alive today, but there is no guarantee that she'll ever leave custody or be allowed to return home.  There is still a dead girl that needs to be identified - because surely there is a family that wonders what happened to their daughter, who is still the Flower of Syria - and who's mutilated body continues to shock and anger the world.  

RIP Steve Jobs.

Even when you hate the changes, you still have to love Facebook. Within minutes of the news of Steve Job's death, it went viral on Facebook. I'd guess the fact that I'm a computer geek would probably ensure that most of my friends would spread the message.

I may not be a Mac fan, but it doesn't take away that Steve Jobs was a visionary and he's made a huge impact on the computer world, and the world we live in. Rest in Peace Steve!

The Cloud's My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem - The Atlantic

The Cloud's My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem - The Atlantic

Makes you think doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My friend is recoving well from his surgery

About a week ago I blogged that I was keeping a friend in my prayers that day.  I talked to his wife the night of the surgery, and she said it had gone really well. That they were able to take out the gall bladder stone through his belly button, avoiding more invasive surgery. 

I talked to my friend last night and he was telling me that he feels like he never had surgery and he feels so much better. That the pain he was worried about on the other side, might amount to nothing and they will wait and see. And of course the best news is that it was just a gall bladder stone, no cancer or anything else.

Oppressing women keeps societies backwards.

Excellent read from Al Jazeera, called the Price of Oppressing Women.
Quoted from the article " When poor countries choose to oppress their own women, they are to some extent choosing their own continued poverty. Female oppression is a moral issue; but it also must be seen as a choice that countries make for short-term "cultural" comfort, at the expense of long-term economic and social progress."

The thing that I find amazing, is that according to this article Canada is one of the countries where women have the most rights currently and I still find there are bigots and misogynists in Canada like anywhere else sadly. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Is the universe is trying to say something...

What are the odds that 2 friends on Facebook, shared at around the same time different Betty White photos with the same message:

"Why do people say "Grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive!! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina!! Those things take a pounding!!"

Additionally these 2 photo's were above one another in my Facebook news feed as illustrated. 

EDIT 11/05/12 - People say Betty White said this but she did not, it's Sheng Wang's joke :) 

Are Assad's days numbered?

An article in Lebanon now seems to point to the fact that Assad is getting weaker. I hope so as the violence keeps increasing.  He cannot see that violence isn't a solution. It's not even a means to an end. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

How Syria works

Found an awesome article that explains how the Syrian "security services" work.  To someone like me from Canada it makes no sense.

Those who wonder how come Syria hasn't fallen like Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya, this explains it. The army does not protect the Syrian people. The Syrian security forces are such that they specifically protect Assad and his party. Very nice from a dictator's point of view but crappy for democracy.

Ophelia going to hit Newfoundland today

Can't help but wonder if it will hit with a whimper like Mary or hit much harder. Last I checked it had downgraded substantially. At some point it was a category 4 hurricane when it passed near Bermuda. Now it appears to be a tropical storm strength, with gusts at hurricane level.

Regardless fall is here. It's all of 10C right now with a high of 14C today. BRRR.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

I now have some Rafter Antigua sandals

I blogged back in June how I was pining for new pairs of Rafters Antigua sandals. At some point in mid July I ordered 3 pairs and had them shipped at my friend mom's place in New Jersey. I got my sandals sometime in late August.
Rafter Antigua Sandals

I also ordered 1 pair of black striped Tsunami sandals since they were $15, which was the equivalent to the shipping costs.
Rafters Tsunami Stripe Flip-Flops

Rafters Tsunami Stripe Flip-Flops

Repetitive public service announcements get promptly tuned out.

Britain which is known world wide now for being a nanny state had an article today about how public service announcements may be doing more harm than good.

GASP - I would never consider buying there!

When I got married for the first time back in 1987, I remember going shopping on St Hubert street in Montreal to find a headpiece to wear for my wedding. I believe I must have walked into 10 different wedding stores before I had staff actually come out to talk to me.

Between looking like I could be 16 and dressed to go shopping [jeans and running shoes] they all figured I was a waste of their time. Yet between the man I was going to marry and myself, we made probably 4 times the salary of women working in these shops. But we were not worth even a second of their time.

It doesn't seem like the wedding industry has changed much. Gotta love a store that feels they are too good to sell to you. 

You go Keara! Have a great wedding and don't let the likes of Chris at GASP ruin what should be one of the most exciting days of your life.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I never thought I'd see the day where I'd say this

Canada needs another Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  I never appreciated him  when he was prime Minister. Of course he was prime minister from when I was 6 till the year I graduated high school in 1979.  He was again Prime minister for 4 more years starting in 1980.  I was young and I  could just see the negatives. After seeing what came after and this twit Harper, I pine for the days of Pierre Trudeau. 

My mom didn't care that much for all his politics but she had him in great admiration, for both his career and his beliefs. The one thing I can say for Mr. Trudeau is that he had chutzpah and he stood up for what he believed in. 

I'm not sure if Justin Trudeau, Pierre's son,  is going to be that man for Canada, what's sure is that he's too young at the moment, he needs to live before he can be a politician like his dad was. 

When I read the stupid things Harper comes up with or says I shake my head. I'm not the only Canadian who's had enough of Harper but what are our choices. Layton had finally become an inspiration and I bet had he lived he might have gotten a minority government but now who will replace him?  

It's frightening. I see people in the Middle east fighting to have the rights I have as a Canadian and as a Canadian I'm terrified because I see my rights slowly being eroded. But I'm not seeing anyone yet who step up and will make sure that we keep our freedom as Canadians.